Blue Cross Providers Boost Health Outcomes, Save on Healthcare Costs with Quality Blue Programs

May 22, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. –  For the fourth year in a row, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) enrolled in the Quality Blue Value Partnerships program have achieved cost savings, while helping patients stay healthy.

An ACO is a large physician group that delivers care across a spectrum – primary care plus specialty care, hospitalizations, labs and other services. The most recent program year’s results show the 25 network ACOs enrolled in the insurer’s shared-savings program saved an average 3.27% on their total costs of healthcare, with the most successful savings reaching 12%.

“Providers and payers working together through programs like Quality Blue lets us see where we can move the needle in addressing barriers to care and lowering healthcare costs,” said Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vindell Washington. “We’re stronger together when we share resources and data and collaborate on how we can improve the health and lives of our shared customers – their patients, our members.”  

Overall, the most successful ACOs focused on reducing hospitalizations, reducing unnecessary emergency room use and curbing pharmacy costs. 

Blue Cross worked closely with the enrolled providers, sharing data and overall cost information securely and giving them the training, tools, analytics and support – including hands-on help from Blue Cross’ own staff – they needed to identify ways to use services more efficiently, coordinate care and hold the line on costs.

Some of the key ways ACOs worked with Blue Cross to get these results were:

  • Delivering comprehensive primary care, so patients could get more of their needs met in a primary care provider’s office rather than in an emergency room or urgent care center. Primary care providers also coordinated care with referrals to high-quality specialists if needed. 
  • Enrolling more eligible patients to Blue Cross’ Care Management programs and services, which offer free health coaching, education about when it is appropriate to go to the emergency room and self-care support to stay on top of chronic conditions.
  • Referring patients to the most cost-effective locations when they needed services and tests like lab work, imaging, mammograms or colonoscopy screenings.
  • Prescribing lower-cost, clinically effective drugs, including more generics when appropriate.

The Quality Blue programs, which Blue Cross launched in 2013, are an alternate payment model that use specified health outcome measures to drive improvements in care quality, which hold the line on total costs of care, particularly for patients who have chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure.

The ACOs that achieved cost savings received incentive payments equal to a percentage of the savings they earned.

To learn more about the Quality Blue programs and how they help members, visit

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. We invest both time and money in the communities we serve, supporting the health and wellbeing of Louisianians through more than 200 charitable organizations.

With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also provides Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans and is a partner in offering the Healthy Blue Medicaid Managed care plan. Louisiana is the only state where we operate, with offices in every major region to serve our customers.

Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying non-profit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

To learn more, visit our website at